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King James Error

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Dear brother Dennis, Thanks for your letter. I'll quote your letter one point at a time.

>>When I first began preaching at [deleted], I realised that there were some brethren who were unaware of the tremendous differences between the various versions of the bible<<

Yes, I remember your ministry and friction after. Some were offended, others confused. Belief someone might have a translation that would mislead on the fundamentals of the gospel was not a problem before. Your ministry suggested the NIV would mislead. [so & so] was influenced, some were angry, some persuaded. The following Sunday I read from the NIV, which caused a stir [said Eric & Ted]. I know of no church that excludes users of the KJV but a few that exclude, or try to exclude, users of anything else. I hope freedom of choice remains at our church. You wrote,

>>I heard a tape which stopped me in my tracks. It compared many of the texts in the modern versions with those in the KJB<<

Have you accepted an Ex-Biblical source of information? A doctrine you would not have found otherwise? The truth is, we are "complete in Christ" [Col.2:10] and have everything we need in Him [2 Pe.1.3]. All cults argue our faith is lacking without their Ex-Biblical source of information. Not that your belief is cultic but parts of it appear so, according to Hoekema (The Distinctive Traits of the Cults. Pg378). He would say you’ve been conned. We need to pray about these matters before the Lord and seek His truth.

Your quote [above] indicates you were a Christian before hearing the tape. So is salvation dependent upon a Bible version or languages ? Well, my salvation does not rest on intellect, good works or language but on Christ's work on Calvary. There will be many in Heaven who never read the KJV and never spoke English [Rev.7;9 10:11 13:7 17:15]. They simply accepted the Gospel message. No wonder Paul in Romans 3&4 and Galatians 3&4 never mentions languages.

If a particular language is a vital part of salvation, then you can't be sure about salvation [or any doctrine] unless you learn the language and read "God’s very Words" for yourself. And so, to say the KJV is ‘the only true Word of God' flavors the Gospel. It demands the convert not only repent and believe the Gospel, but in order to read and know the very Words of God they must learn to read and speak English [and Old English at that]. To me the KJOD [King James Only Doctrine] appears foreign to NT and the Gospel "once delivered unto the saints".

>>My concern was not just academic curiosity, but simply that I wanted to know which bible was the true word of God<<

You suggest there's “many Bibles” but only one “true”. No doubt all others are Satan's and their users are ignorant, stupid and God will judge them. And Bible Correctors and Translators corrupt Scripture with their many versions and translations in various languages and dialects. They are "Satan's workers". Well, I must say that the KJOD tries to steal what belongs to all the Church. God has given His Word for all His people of every nation not just part of it. The Commission was to the universal church "Go ye therefore, and teach ALL NATIONS" [Mt.28]. Since the original tongues are not known to all God's people [who have right & interest in Scripture] therefore, they MUST be translated into the languages of every nation.

>>God had said that He would preserve His words, and that His words were pure, [Ps 12:6- 7] and that His Word was "truth" [John 17:17]<<

God's Word is "
truth" but your interpretation of Ps.12:6-7 is not. Verse 7 is the conclusion to the whole Psalm The writer is saying that God will secure the remnant to Himself however bad the times. God will preserve them "from" this generation. God knows those who are His and keeps them. So it appears you have misapplied vs.6-7. God did not promise to preserve the original autographs and they after all are the 'very words’.

But lets interpret it your way: If God said He would '
preserve' His words - where are they? To the Psalmist God's words were in Hebrew and regardless how careful, how literal the translation of those 'very' words into English the result is still English words. The semantic range of the English word will seldom if ever correspond exactly to the semantic range of the 'very' Hebrew word [or expression] that underlines it. Translators repeatedly seek the dynamic equivalent. They take into account the meaning of languages, their syntax, their idioms, how the rendering is understood as compared with how a reader of the original text would understand what he read.

Also likewise in the NT Jesus spoke in Aramaic, yet the NT was written in Koine Greek and we use English. These words "…come from the mouth of God" [Mt.4.4 NIV]. They are "of God" not man. Jesus said 'The words I speak to you are spirit'. These are living words and not of ink and paper "Christ has ministered to us not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart". God's Word is alive and powerful you can’t trap it in time [1611] or in a language [English] in this or the first century. It is alive and powerful today as it was to Augustine, Hus, Wyclif or Luther. We are the recipients of a Divine Revelation not a Divine translation.

>>So where was this pure, preserved, inerrant Word? It had to be totally without error, otherwise God was lying when He said it was "truth". And this preserved pure Word had to be available, otherwise I could not "study" it [2 Tim.2: 15] or “preach" it [2 Tim.4:2] or use it to win souls to the Lord. In your letter to me Mark you state that “no translation is perfect" yet God has promised to preserve a perfect Word. Why would He say that, if it is not so? I am able to hold it in my hands, trust it, study it, and preach from it, knowing that God has kept His promise<<

Are the original autographs and the KJV both
inerrant ? No translation could be infallibly correct or 'inerrant' unless it were guided by the same Spirit, with the same degree of supervision as was the writing of the inspired autographs. The 1611 required some interpretation on the part of the translators. They were theologians and academics but didn't claim infallibility for their interpretations of Scripture. They made mistakes ie Ac.12.7 the word "Easter", What’s it doing in the ‘inerrant’ KJV? The text was altered to put "Easter" in. And the OT Apocrypha included in the 1611 ? Soon as 1613 another edition appeared with over 300 differences from the 1611. In fact, the 1762 edition was to remove textual "errors" and "certain kinds of words". Today a dozen or so readings in the KJV find no support in any Greek MS whatsoever. But only one mistake fails the test.

The traditional Church understands "
inerrant" as the belief in an infallible, authoritative, reliable Scripture. This was always apart of the faith of the Church. And to concede that total inerrancy or verbal inspiration is restricted to the autographs does not mean we have no sure word from God. The vast majority of the NT is textual certain. No doctrine and no ethical command is affected by probability passages. So to say all other translations are "garbage" and 'worthless’ isn't true. If you have problems with this view they can be resolved by submission to the Holy Spirit and by faith in the Lord of Scripture, and in Scripture itself as the Word of God. You wrote,

>>The thing that really concerned me however, was that if we only have an imperfect translation that requires academics or theologians to decide which parts are right. and which parts are wrong, then our authority is no longer the word of God but the opinion of man. This is the absolute bottom line. We are talking about the Holy Scriptures. - the writings of God. Does one trust a Book or does one trust the opinion of a man? His "sincerity” or “godliness” or "academic ability” is not the question. It is the matter of AUTHORITY. It has to do with the . Authority of the Holy Scriptures, and not which version is more accurate, or more easily readable, or the latest etc. These things are just red-herrings. Do we have an authority or not? <<

I'm afraid accurateness and clarity are important Dennis, authoritative translations don't exist without them. If what I read is confusing, obscure, or incomprehensible, I won't comprehend authority. Note. 1 Cor.14.9-11 “Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a foreigner to me.” And Paul says, “my mind is unfruitful”.

God's Word should be understandable to all, not a select few English speaking people. Otherwise you demand the foreigner to learn English to read the only true Bible. And suggest English speaking Christian is special in God's eyes and non-English speakers can't possibility know God as well. But the fact is, nationality doesn't matter, nor language because the Holy Spirit applies Scripture to our hearts and minds. God can speak with equal authority to the Hebrew, Chinese, or German as He does to me. Yet Scripture is dead letter without the Holy Spirit opening eyes and hearts to the truth within.

>>To further my odyssey. I subsequently completed a four year bible college course graduating with a "Graduate of Theology” and as I pursued the question of "authority" so the Lord gradually opened my eyes and understanding, because He knew that I wanted this question resolved totally, and without any loopholes. exceptions or doubts. <<

I too have studied Scripture - graduating a Bachelor, Masters, ThD & PhD. Took over 4 years and many subjects [more to learn]. My studies in the TR Text-Types. translations, etc have resulted in different conclusions than yours. I have a personal library of some 400 Christian books, over 300 elec., books and use the Bible College library often. But no doubt I will still be called “ignorant” and "Satan's voice” by the likes of Pearce. You wrote,

>>"I note your comment about tile so-called "difficulty, in understanding the KB" and that some Christians hear and read verses that they, cannot understand. “Archaic" language is sometimes presented as a reason for they but the facts are quite the opposite. There are a handful of 'archaic’ words which are very easily explained and when cross-referenced to other texts, they bring out richer meanings that would otherwise be less apparent. Compared to modem bible versions, a study by Bob Jones University in the USA has conclusively shown that the KJV reads easier than any new version because, according to the study. 95% of all the words in the King James Bible are one or two syllable Anglo-Saxon words. Additional research using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Indicators independently verifies this University study. So this difficulty in understanding" is basically a myth perpetuated by those who seek to attack the KJ bible, rather than address the question of authority. Which is easier to understand: "supporting ligament" [NIV] or 'joint’ Ephes.4.:16, "conscripted" [NIV] or "told". 2 Chron.2:2 "habitation" [NKJV] or "house" 2 Cor.5:2 "representation" NIV] or “image” Heb.1:3 and I could give you many hundreds of similar examples. And who knows what a “Satrap” is ?<<

Most of the cults disagree. They love the ambiguity of the KJV and constantly use it to deceive and win followers. My SDA correspondent constantly quotes the KJV and often catches me out. So I think the facts are not "…quite the opposite", the KJV is hard to read. And it has hundreds of archaic words and phrases not "easily explained" Even you admit they must be "explained". Language changes over time, words used today are forgotten tomorrow and no amount of playing with figures prove other wise. There are verbs, preterit forms etc, in the KJV which are antiquated and the NKJV has substituted current equivalents for them. Eg, the chart - OKJV and NKJV.

King James Version

New King James Version

They… strake sail

they struck sail

Ac. 27:17

cut.. branches and strewed them.

Cut.. branches and spread them


He sware unto her

he also swore to her


threw him down and tare him

threw him down and convulsed him


and ware no clothes

and he Wore no clothes


it behoved Christ to suffer

it was necessary for Christ to suffer


and digged a winepress in it

dug a Winepress in it


Moses trembled and durst not behold

Moses trembled and dared not look


the thorns spinning up

the thorns sprang up


they trode upon one another

they trampled one another


that he should be holden of it

that he should be held by it


He hath holpen

He was helped


they laded us with such things

they provided such things


where thou has not strawed

where you have not scattered seed


a light shined in the prison

a light shone in the prison


he sunk down with sleep

who was sinking into a deep sleep


and shall be spitted on

and will be....spit upon


certain men clave unto him

some men joined him


The KJV is not easily read and understood. And no translation is ever final. Translations must keep pace with the growth in biblical scholarship and the changes in language. There are many obsolete words in the KJV and many that have changed their meaning [Bob Jones of course, has similar views to yourself].

>>“I answer (very briefly) your comment that "the 1611 is of course not ‘The 1611’, but closer to the 1762 edition." This is a tedious old "chestnut”, and when investigated is found to be not what it purports to be. There have been main so-called "editions" of the KB.... Such corrections never altered the text of the 1611 translators, which has come down to us today unchanged,......BUT it still contains the unaltered TEXT of the KJ translators, with all typographical and spelling errors corrected. So it IS the 1611 Authorised Version…… Of course, just as we do not possess any of the autographs given by God, so likewise we do not possess any of the original /611 texts of the translators, but we DO have the unbroken and preserved text to this very day. The different "editions" or printings of the KB is a totally different mailer from the various modem versions which all change the very text of the Holy Scriptures, so that in many places they differ not only from the KB, but from each other.<<

This is interesting. It's boasted the KJV is the pure, unbroken, preserved, unaltered and "inerrant" Bible, with "errors corrected" (is that all errors?). Yet it's certainly not the "unaltered" word for word 1611. Words have been added, some taken out, some printed in roman type to indicate that they had no exact equivalent in the original. They were added to make the translation conform to English. The 1762 Cambridge edition differed from the 1611 in at least 75,000 details. The 1611 today would be unreadable for the typography, spelling and punctuation. To say the KJV is the unaltered 1611 is questionable, its been altered many times.

Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries are helpful for the meaning of Bible words. From a dictionary I read the KJV translators were totally unaware of the differences between Hellenistic [or Koine] Greek and the classical [usually Attic] Greek of earlier centuries. The relevant manuscripts had not been discovered. As late as 1886 J.H.Thayer could list 767 distinctively NT words with no parallels in any known language Greek literature. The list in 1986 was under 50 and today is still shrinking. The 1611 translators followed the syntax of classical Greek; but we now know that the Greek of the NT corresponds syntactically to the Hellenistic Greek. This makes a tremendous difference translating NT text [See W.E Vine].

To say the KJV is the text of the 1611 isn't boast-worthy. It missed out on the discoveries of older and better MS., [ie 1930 C.Beatty. 1956 M.M.Bodmer. 1947 Dead Sea Scrolls]. It was also dependent on late MSS of the Middle Ages which had been corrupted as they were copied and recopied by hand through the ages. The fact is the Alexandrian text-type has better credentials than any other text-type now available. As a result today we have translations that are more in harmony with what the apostles actually wrote. And men have less excuse for not believing the Bible as the genuine article than ever before in history. [This covers the main points of your letter].

>>"Perhaps you would like to visit me in my home for a weekend afternoon....or prefer to have dialogue by way of correspondence, such as this letter? Either of us could raise points or specific queries, for the other to address, I would be just as comfortable with correspondence....Then again, you may prefer to simply accept the fact that the two of us differ on the bible "issue” and leave it at that. That would be equally acceptable to me…<<

Thanks for your good ideas. Although hard to say which is best. At this point of time, it might be wise to ‘play it by ear’.

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